Online Language Study

Language Study

Thanks a lot for your participation in this experiment!


In this experiment you are asked to rate how surprising a sentence is on a scale from 1 (not surprising at all) to 7 (very surprising).


First I will ask you to enter some information about your person into a data window. This data serves purely scientific purposes and will be treated anonymously. All personal information will be deleted after the completion of the study. Before the experiment starts, you can do a first practice phase with a few sentences. Then the actual experiment starts. If you do not wish to continue the experiment, you may cancel at any time; note, however, that only completed experiments will receive compensation.

Experiment: Surprisal judgements

Your task is to judge how surprising a sentence is.

You will consecutively be shown different sentence types on the screen. Your task is to judge how surprising a sentence is and to indicate your assessment by choosing a value on a 7-point scale:
1 - not surprising at all
7 - very surprising

Here are some examples:

The CEO announced that every employee will receive 10 additional days off.
This sentence sounds very surprising. You could rate it with '6' or '7'.
Peter went to the store and bought groceries; he forgot to pay.
This sentence is somewhat surprising, but not completely out of the ordinary. You could rate it with '3' or '4'.
The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening.
This sentence is very common and not surprising. You could rate it with '1'.

Final instructions

You may use a scale from 1-7 to rate the sentences.

Try to differentiate as many levels of surprisal as possible.

Use higher values for surprising sentences and lower values for sentences that are not surprising.

You are asked to rate 36 sentences and the experiment will take about 15 minutes.

There are no "right" or "wrong" answers. Just follow your instincts.

Ready? Press "Continue"!

Progress: 2.2%

Experimenter: Amelie Rüeck, Universität Tübingen

Das Experiment wurde mit der freien Software OnExp_v.1.2 erstellt.